One of the things that I am doing for the new year is creating a new game. This game is meant to be a throwback AD&D game, set in a sandbox world.
This is hard, because I am starting with an empty sandbox.
As a result, every day, something needs to be added to the sandbox. A new NPC, a new place, a new adventure theme, a little quirk that will appear in a random room in a dungeon. Anything to make the sandbox grow each day.
It is interesting to see the range of inspirations that are finding their way into the game — I’m pulling in things from everywhere: Gaming blogs (duh), non-gaming blogs, TV shows, movies. Books, magazines, newspaper articles. There is something in almost everything that can be stolen and placed (strategically) in the sandbox.
It’s also a slow project. When I write out a page in my notebook about a Dwarven armourer in the City of Bridges, I do not know how this character will become important — or if they will become important — during the game. I don’t even know if my characters will ever go to the City of Bridges. Hell, at the moment, I’m not even sure where the City of Bridges is. It’s just somewhere.
As a result, we are wondering how long it should take to build a sandbox.
Perhaps that should read: we are wondering how long it should take to build a sandbox when the builder has a baby. I think that my concentration is being sapped by alternate duties.
The players are going into the sandbox soon(ish), though, so I’d best get all the plastic shovels ready.
Image: Steve Zieser